To keep a check on overloaded heavy vehicles on Mumbai-Pune Expressway,notorious for a high number of accidents,Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) will install electronic weighing bridges at toll nakas.
MSRDC is looking at procuring eight weighing bridges to be installed in the two extreme lanes on either sides of Khalapur and Talegaon toll nakas on the 95-km expressway.
We have invited expressions of interest from companies to procure the equipment on instructions from the state government. Currently,there is no fool-proof way of checking overloaded vehicles. Authorities at toll nakas check vehicles randomly based on suspicion, said a senior MSRDC official.
As per a study by the Central Road Research Institute,not only do overloaded vehicles increase the risk of accidents,but they also damage road infrastructure,thereby increasing the maintenance cost. The study further says that an increase in the load by 10 per cent reduces life of road pavements by 35 per cent and overloading 30 per cent beyond the permissible limit leads to a 65 per cent reduction in the life of road pavements.
The electronic weighing equipment will have a capacity of 150 metric tonnes and will be used to check heavy vehicles such as buses,trailers and trucks. A tighter check on overloaded vehicles can also help in reducing the number of accidents, the MSRDC official said.
Overloaded heavy vehicles will be penalised and excess cargo will be offloaded before they are allowed to go ahead. As per the Motor Vehicles Act,the driver can be fined a minimum of Rs 2,000 and an additional Rs 1,000 per tonne of the excess load. The driver will also have to bear the charges for offloading the excess load.